Today I find myself in prayer for our country and its people and offer this prayer for you to use:

O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! All we need to do is look around to see the beauty that surrounds us in mountains and desert and in the people you give us to love. We humbly thank you, O God, for life and your presence and love with us. We thank you for our country and the freedoms we enjoy. Help us not take those for granted.

We pray for the people of our country. We know that each life matters to you and that you challenge us to value each life, too. Help us realize that sometimes, that means our focus and attention must go to those people whose lives are in danger or who live in fear. Right now there are so many people in that situation, God, and we call upon you to help us seek justice for people of color, and we pray for safety and wisdom for those first responders who seek to protect them and us. We pray for those whose lives are endangered by COVID-19 and ask that you help us do all we can to keep ourselves and those around us well. We pray for the firefighters who continue to battle fires on and around the mountains.

God of wisdom, give us your wisdom and guidance. Help us sort through the chatter of social media and other news to find words that inform and help. In our fear and anxiety we are tempted to listen to news that inflames rather than helps, so pour out your guidance upon us. Give guidance to all leaders so they may show us the way of healing and peace.

Help us with this pandemic, God. There is so much grief and isolation. We pray especially for those who are alone and ask that you comfort and strengthen them, and all of us.

We close with gratitude, O God, for all your goodness to us and for the hope you set before us. You remind us that you are there and you are seeing us through. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

This Sunday, July 5, we finish our series on “Deadly Sins” by talking about “Envy,” and we celebrate Holy Communion. Have your elements (a small piece of bread or cracker, and juice or other beverage) ready so you can participate. Worship at 9:45 a.m. on, on YouTube (UMC St. Mark’s Oro Valley) or on St. Mark’s Facebook.

Blessings, Sharon